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Author Topic: Removing boot from USB flash drive.  (Read 1292 times)


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Removing boot from USB flash drive.
« on: January 25, 2018, 01:33:32 PM »

A while ago I was testing out Linux Mint on a live version that I put on a usb flash drive and made it bootable using Universal USB Installer.

A month after testing it I then wanted to use that usb flash drive for something else. I wanted to make a backup of Windows 10 using the media creation tool (MCT). After formatting the drive and attempting to use the MCT I would get the error 0x80042405 - 0xA001A saying it was unable to use the program on this computer.

What was more odd is when I stopped the MCT I clicked on the drive letter in windows explorer and it immediately wanted me to reformat the drive. So I knew something was wrong with the usb flash drive. This was a new 32GB flash drive that I'd only bought it originally to test linux mint on, so I knew it couldnt be over usage.

I figured it was the boot sector on the usb flash drive that for some reason wasn't being cleared when I had selected format using Windows.

This is how I managed to fix it.

1. Plugin the flash drive in to the computer.
2. Download a program called ImageUSB at
3. Either create a folder and put the zip file in, or just right click and extract the files.
4. Double click on the imageUSB.exe file.
5. Select the usb flash drive.
6. Select zero usb drive option.
7. Select boot sectors only option.
8. Press the button Zero.
9. Select yes in the confirmation box.

This info is credited to Compton over at:

Before using that program I had tried many times to get the usb flash drive to work but it wouldn't. I think this advice needs to be more widely circulated as more and more people these days are creating bootable flash drives, and they will run in to this kind of issue at some point.
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Re: Removing boot from USB flash drive.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 05:19:07 AM »

Good info, thank you for posting I will definitely try this as a potentially safer alternative to my usual procedure, I also use USB drives a lot as bootable for different OSes and they regularly go weird ESPECIALLY when trying to go back and forward from Linux based boot drives back to Windows / FAT32 .... 

The most common problem I have is that they "lose" most of their storage e.g, a 16Gb drive will report 50 Mb of available room after formatting ....... >:(

I find myself using this procedure a LOT.  It uses DISKPART in windows, a command line utility kinda like FDISK which doesn't get talked about much (probably because of its potentially disastrous destructive power in the hands of numpties!)


The nice thing about it is it is native to Windows, no downloads / software required.  So if you need a sledgehammer to crack that nut, then DISKPART could be it ...

Final tip :Do not use DISKPART when you are drunk  ... just saying

Cheers big ears


« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 05:22:12 AM by Chunkers »


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  • Kitizen
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Re: Removing boot from USB flash drive.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 01:01:11 PM »

Final tip :Do not use DISKPART when you are drunk  ... just saying

That is ALWAYS good advice :)

This boot issue is the first time I've ever come across this problem. I remember that Windows wasnt always the best to do certain processes. So its good to hear that there IS a way to do it from Windows.
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Re: Removing boot from USB flash drive.
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 04:44:50 PM »

To fix problems with partitions/formatting USB drives (or any drive) I use Magic Partition Wizard on Windows and GParted on Linux.

I use Rufus to make bootable USB drives.
Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.

It can be especially useful for cases where:

you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI, etc.)
you need to work on a system that doesn't have an OS installed
you need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS
you want to run a low-level utility
Despite its small size, Rufus provides everything you need!

Oh, and Rufus is fast. For instance it's about twice as fast as UNetbootin, Universal USB Installer or Windows 7 USB download tool, on the creation of a Windows 7 USB installation drive from an ISO. It is also marginally faster on the creation of Linux bootable USB from ISOs. (1)
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